Deconstructing Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need To Calm Down’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I really like Taylor Swift’s latest song. But while I won’t call it derivative, I will suggest that it’s heavily influenced by two other songs.

One of the songs is Lily Allen’s “Straight To Hell.”
The other song is Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It For the Boy.”

Swift’s song has been slowed down, however. So it’s not a one-to-one. But if you listen carefully to the background music, the “wall of sound” if you will, you can definitely hear the Allen song floating around.

Now, when it comes to Williams’ song, I think the producer of Swift’s song simply wanted to evoke the feel, the vibe of that song. But that sound was all over the place in 80s music so hearing it in Swift song is kind of driving me crazy.

Thus Swift’s song is a mixture of this song slowed down a lot:

And a big chunk of the sound of this song used as something as both a tone setter and a “cover” for the use of Allen’s song.

Both those two songs together, throw in some awkward modern lyrics about haters and…ta-da!

A Theory About Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need To Calm Down’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As I’ve written before, I think Taylor Swift decided to use Lily Allen’s “Straight To Hell” as a musical blueprint for her song, “You Need To Calm Down.”

The more I listen to the two songs, it’s a much more subtle similarity than I originally thought. I guess what I’m hearing is there’s a background sound in the new song that is very, very similar to the Allen song. And the beat is very similar, if in a very garbled way.

Here’s what I think happened:

Swift is really mad about getting it from both gay people and Right Wing nutjobs. So, she found a song that expresses her view on the subject: Straight to hell.

So, her song should really be entitled, “Go Straight to Hell Haters.” But, as I said, there’s another song’s sound being used as something of a cover in the Swift song. It’s such a direct lift, in fact, that given enough time and thought I can probably figure it out.

It’s an 80s song, I think. It’s conspicuous as to be pretty self-evident. I just can’t think of the song right now. Whatever the 80s song is I’m hearing the influence of, it was a pretty big hit.

This is Strange: Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need To Calm Down’ & Lily Allen’s Version Of The Clash’s ‘Straight To Hell’ Have The Same Beat Structure

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I really like Taylor Swift’s latest song, “You Need To Calm Down.” But something about it reminded me of something else. And it just occurred to me what it is — Lily Allen’s version of The Clash’s “Straight To Hell.”

Here’s take a listen for yourself:

There’s another song floating around in Swift’s song, though. It’s got a very 80s New Wave Electronica vibe to it. But otherwise, I sense a very, very strong influence on Swift’s song from the Allen song.

Or not.

Just an observation.

Wait, What? Taylor Swift Is A Very, Very Strange Person

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Tay-Tay, we love you, ok?

Taylor Swift’s latest single, “You Need To Calm Down” is the lyrical equivalent of her puting some random Twitter troll with a few followers on blast. It is a deeply weird song.

She explicitly responds to some pretty dumb criticism against her…I think?..from some of the darker corners of the Internet. Musicians are notorious for running around naked on an emotional level in their music and this latest single from Swift is a prime example of that behavior.

It’s almost as if she, like, uh…needs a hug?

So, the song is a response to some gay haters who think she’s….what? Not gay friendly enough? The deeply weird thing about the song is if she’s responding to one specific person on Twitter that got into her craw.

I simply have no explanation for how this song got produced in its current form. Generally, the idea for pop songs is to be timeless and universal and use subtext. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are pretty good at this.

But Swift has a history of writing songs about and or directed at one specific person. Usually, in the past, it’s been boyfriends. This song, though, whoa buddy. I don’t get it. Weird, man, weird.

I think it’s safe to say that Swift is an extremely — EXTREMELY — sensitive person. She still needs to go rock in my opinion, though. But I think that says more about my craving for main stream rock music more than anything else.

Anyway, I generally like Swift’s latest stuff. I just wish she would chill out a little bit and have a little bit more self-confidence. We love you, ok? We really do.

‘Write A Book’ — A Lyrical Homage To Taylor Swift Songs

The thing with this one is while tonally it’s an attempt at a Taylor Swift type song, it’s not properly done structurally. But the conceit is pretty good. I think.

‘Write A Book’
Lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
Please give credit if you produce or preform

Tapping my pen to pad
I see you across the coffee shop
And you smile
I smile back
‘Cause you seem
You seem like my type
That is
Out of sight

But will you walk over
And ask me my name
What would be the shame
You could make history
Or you could just

Write a book
Write a book
Write a book

I get up and walk your way
Hoping you’ll tell me what I wanna hear
What your name
What’s your claim to fame
But I walk on by without a sound
Feeling a little bit let down

But one day maybe it’ll change
Maybe one day my dream will come true
No more nightmares for me
I’ll be in the clear with someone dearl
Someone who wants to kiss
Instead of

Write a book
Write a book
Write a book

(bridge)
The truth is
Why is life so unfair
I have to wait for fate to arrive
Someone who makes me sigh
Waiting by the phone
With a grone

But in the end
All I can think is
I’ll find my name in a book
Knowing that a smile lead someone to

Write a book
Write a book
Write a book

Taylor Swift & The End Of The Center

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’ve mentioned this before, but feel like talking about it again. While I generally think of myself as a moderate liberal, some of the people on the Left who absolutely hate someone like Taylor Swift for what she symbolizes — the center — really bug me. I’m empathetic to these Leftists and I understand what bothers them about Swift and The Center, and, yet I rather like having some sort of “center’ (both politically and culturally) that we can use as a frame of reference.

Swift is the last vestige of the America I grew up in, in her own way. It is understandable why insane Nazis thought she was some sort of idyllic Norse demigod. Thankfully, she put their beliefs to rest. But the fact that even Swift, of all people, can’t simply be in The Middle without both the Left and the Right hating on her for what they believe she is — or isn’t — is a sad testament to where our nation is headed.

What’s even more interesting about this is America is hurdling towards a moment when it’s going to be minority majority. And, as such, the very thing that Swift represents middle brow centrist white America, will, in itself, be a thing of the past. We risk, of course, having no center at all and if that happens then, well, the United States collapses for lack of shared values, if nothing else.

We’ll finally be two countries — rich, young multicultural Blue States on the coast, and poor, old white Red States in the interior. At that point, the question will be how many people die when “purple” states like Virginia tear themselves apart. But that’s still a ways down the road.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the Left is doing itself no favors long term by hating on the Center. We need a Center as a place where our shared values come together long enough for us know, well, what they are. If we all simply worry about intersectional this or that cultural / political “ism,” then the Right — which has a much more uniform ideology — will grow only more and more powerful for no other reason than many people who would be empathetic to the Left will be turned off by its shrill nature and bank Right.

I don’t know. These are just some thoughts off the top of my head. No one listens to me and when they do they usually get mad.

A Personal Appeal To Taylor Swift To Cover ‘Would I Lie To You’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Absolutely no one listens to me. All I do all day at this point is work on a scifi novel. But I do find myself — again — thinking that Taylor Swift needs to cover the great old rock song Would I Lie To You. She’s got the pipes to cover it well and it would be a perfect way for her to go full boar rock star on us.

But I’m just daydreaming. No matter how much I want rock to come back before I drop dead, it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. And, yet, if Taylor Swift came out with a rock album it might be a game changer. The reason why that particular song might appeal to her is she obvious has some serious hang-ups about people having the goods on her and she apparently thinks everything thinks she some sort of snake.

Anyway, Tay-Tay, I think you might single-handedly bring back rock music for a least a cultural moment if you were to plug in an electric guitar and freak the fuck out on stage with a great rock song like Would I Lie To You.

‘Could Have Seen This Coming’ — #Lyrics To A Taylor Swift Type Pop Song

No one cares about anything I do creatively, so I’m just relaxing writing song lyrics. My goal is a Taylor Swift-type song.

Could Have Seen This Coming
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

visions of my fate swim around
lately I’m not feeling myself
you’re gone never to return
all I can say at this late date is
who could have seen this coming

who could have seen this coming
nobody but everyone
nobody but everyone I’m afraid
who could have seen this coming
who could have seen this coming

when the end came it was all kind of lame
but that’s your game it’s explained
breaking girls hearts left and right
leaving them with nothing but fright
don’t get me wrong I knew you were doom

who could have seen this coming
nobody but everyone
nobody but everyone I’m afraid
who could have seen this coming
who could have seen this coming

[bridge]
no one is to blame I have to explain
I’m alone again and I feared
but I have no tears in me
’cause the future is past
who could have seen this coming

don’t you fret the best is yet to be
I’m going to dig myself out without a doubt
no one is holding me down like a clown
the future isn’t set

no one will see me coming
no one will see me coming
no one will see me coming

‘Swift Approval’ — #Lyrics To A Pop Rock Song About Taylor Swift’s Politics

I just think the fact that the Right was so eager to assume Taylor Swift was one of them is rather amusing. Even though none of my lyrics will ever be produced, I couldn’t help myself with this one.

Swift Approval
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltbumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

the Right wants to know how you think
if you slink their way
they’re ready to make hay every which way
but when news of your views arrives
there’s anything but swift approval

swift approval
she’s with The Resistance
swift approval
America’s already great
swift approval
swift approval
swift approval

never you fear
the blonde ambition is in the air
we’ll all fair quite well I believe
when her political views are laid bare
don’t get me wrong I understand their views
they dig her looks and songs

swift approval
she’s with The Resistance
swift approval
America’s already great
swift approval
swift approval
swift approval

[bridge]
Pepe had it all wrong
had his troll face out for a beer
to celebrate but he was too late
swift approval turned out to be left
when they expected a right

swift approval
she’s with The Resistance
swift approval
America’s already great
swift approval
swift approval
swift approval

‘Bite My Lip’ — #Lyrics To A Pop Song

This is my attempt at a Taylor Swift smack-dab-in-the-middle of pop music song. Say what you will about her, she can write a pop song.

Bite My Lip
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

our eyes locked before I entered the bar
saw you through the patio on my way in
knew from the moment you were in my life
things were going to change
when I look back at that moment
I can’t help but bite my lip

bite my lip
every time I recall
bite my lip
knowing our love is true
bite my lip
bite my lip
bite my lip

you make me bite my lip with desire
thinking of how we’re going to take it higher
how’s it all going to end
you tell don’t you worry
we’re all going to succeed
in our desires given the light of the midnight sun
we’ll be on the run between the sheets
no one will know what hit them
when we arrive late to the party
knowing smiles on our faces
I’ll turn to you and bite my lip
bite my lip
bite my lip

bite my lip
every time I recall
bite my lip
knowing our love is true
bite my lip
bite my lip
bite my lip

[bridge]
our eyes will lock
our lips will touch
close your eyes with a sigh
knowing I’m always yours
no matter what

bite my lip
every time I recall
bite my lip
knowing our love is true
bite my lip
bite my lip
bite my lip